Are you a first-time dog owner? If so, you might have come across a whole lot of questions and doubts about dog parenting. Even experienced dog parents frequently asked us ‘How to get your dog to listen to you outside?’
Adopting a dog is never an easy job. However, not everyone starts their dog parenting journey as an expert. We all start as amateurs, and eventually, we polish our skills. Training and obeying your dog to the commands is a crucial task to do.
You might have noticed that although your dog seems pretty obedient in the house, its character changes when it is outside.
Why do dogs sometimes not listen to you outside or seem ignorant of your commands? If your dog acts in such a way, what actions can you take to address this concern? This article will look into how to get your dog to listen to you outside.
So, how to get your dog to listen to you outside? Patience is the key to addressing this issue. For several reasons, dogs could feel uncomfortable when they come out of the house. Therefore first, try to figure out what makes the dog uncomfortable, understand its emotional state, and take action accordingly.
You should patiently see if the dog follows the basic commands, and if they are reluctant, do not force them to do it; try to take things slow. If the verbal commands do not work, try to take advantage of nonverbal commands; for instance, make the dog look into your eyes and let them not get distracted.
Moreover, you can use positive reinforcement methods such as giving the dog a treat. As long as you act calm, consistent, and smart, making the dog listen to you outside will be easy.
For your pet dog, home is the safest place. So when they leave the house, it is not unusual for them to feel less comfortable. Different things in the external environment, such as other people, vehicles, and noises, could make your dog anxious.
In such instances, the dog will not really listen to your commands. So the question is, how can you get back your dog’s attention and make them listen to you? Let’s find out the answers.
Why is my dog not listening to me outside?
“Why is my dog not listening to me outside?” You might have come across this question several times. What could be the reason behind this? If the dog listens to you when in-home, why is it different outside?
As already pointed out, dogs feel safer in their house instead of staying outside the house. When they go out, they get exposed to different things, which could be a lot for your dog to process.
Especially if you do not take your dog out often, this could be more stressful or uncomfortable for the dog because it is adapted to the environment within the house. You might have heard that dogs are situational learners meaning they learn something depending on the situation.
In other words, dogs can be context specific. So your dog might obey when you say sit when you are in the house because the dog is familiar with that context.
Still, when you give them the same command outside the home, unless the dog is perfectly and constantly trained, they will not listen to it. The inability to generalize things could lead the dog not to listen to you when they are outside.
When your dog does not listen to you outside, you cannot merely put the blame on the dog because sometimes this could happen because you are not properly communicating with the dog. So it is vital to understand the emotional condition of the dog and communicate accordingly.
Why does my dog not pay attention to me outside?
Several things could make your dog not pay attention to you outside the house. Below you can find some of the common reasons behind this behavior.
- Fear and distractions
Fear and distractions are the most common reasons to lose your dog’s attention when outside. Fear is subjective; therefore, not every dog will be afraid of the same thing.
However, loud noises, machines, and thunder usually scare dogs. When you take them out of the house, the dog could be exposed to the abovementioned things.
Vehicles are going on the roads, machines are working, and loud noises are coming from the surroundings, and they will make the dog scared; as a result, they will not pay attention to you.
Moreover, the dog could get distracted by other people and animals outside, get triggered by different smells, and find it hard to pay attention to you.
- Lack of exposure and training
Suppose you often keep your dog inside the house without taking them outdoors; this will certainly lack your dog’s ability to be exposed to new environments.
The more you keep the dog inside, the more they feel it is difficult to get used to the bigger picture.
So in such cases, when the dog gets out of the house, it will be very anxious because they are always used to staying in the house; because of that uneasy feeling, the dog will not pay attention to you.
On the other hand, lack of training could also be a reason why your dog ignores you. You might have trained your dog to behave well and obey the commands, but they will still follow the orders differently outside the house.
Always remember that the environment within and outside the house are two completely different aspects for your dog. So you have to train them well inside and outside the house to ensure they pay attention to you.
- You are too hard on the dog
If you are too hard on the dog outside the home, pushing them to follow the commands or being strict with them, it will never help you to get your dog’s attention; instead, you will lose their attention.
As mentioned, the environment outside the house feels different for a dog; if you are too rigid on the dog, it will confuse them, so you will find it hard to get their attention.
How do I get my dog to pay attention to me outside? Get your dog to listen to you outside?
Here we have come to the most crucial part. If you read up to this point now, you know why your dog does not listen to you and does not pay attention to you outside.
So what can you do to make sure the dog pays you attention? It might take quite some time to train your dog for this; however, this is not something as complex as you think.
So here are some tips for you to get your dog’s attention outside.
- Train young and take things slow
You have to expose your dog to the environment outside of the house from a young age. You do not have to take them on long walks just because they need exposure outside the house, but take them on short walks.
If the dog is reluctant, do not force them; take things slow. Most importantly, train your dog to the basic commands from the beginning. Train them consistently to follow them in public until they get familiar with it.
- Let the dog enjoy but do not let them get distracted
When you take your dog outside, it could get distracted by many things, which will cause the dog to lose its attention.
It is okay to let your dog be adventurous when they are out but do not let them get distracted and do whatever they want. If the dog seems distracted, change the route and get its focus back.
- Use positive reinforcement
Another way to make your dog pay attention to you when outside is to use positive reinforcement methods. For instance, you can give them a small snack.
This method can be used mainly during the initial stages of training the dog to be familiar with the environment outside the house.
You might have trained your dog well to listen to you and act accordingly, but what makes the dog ignore you when they are outside? If the dog listens to you and obeys you at home, why is it different outside?
As we thoroughly discussed in this article, many factors could make the dog feel different when they step outside the house, and that strange feeling could lead them not to listen to you.
If you have encountered this concern, how would you get your dog’s attention and make them listen to you? This cannot be done overnight, so you should consistently and patently train the dog to be familiar with new environments and feel comfortable in them.
Proper training will help a lot to win their attention and obey them outside the house.
Also, as the owner, you must ensure that you correctly read your dog’s emotional state and act according to the context to make the dog listen to you.
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